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10 Things All Parents Have Cluttering Their Home: Let Them Go!

by Mary Gilbert

As the mother of three boys, I've waged an endless battle against clutter on their behalf. Between the clothes they outgrow and the toys and games they play with for one hot second, their possessions build up fast—and yet they have trouble letting go. Full disclosure: I do, too.

Yet I'm here to say that it is possible to purge that playroom, kids' closets, or toy bin. I know this because I've done it! To help set you on the same path, here are 10 things I was unnecessarily holding onto that I'll bet many parents have stashed away somewhere. Here's how I learned to unload this stuff, and how you can, too.

1. Your kids' once-favorite toys

To determine which toys should stay or go, I kept these questions in mind from Jamie Novak, author of "Keep This Toss That: Unclutter Your Life to Save Time, Money, Space, and Sanity."

  • Do I have more than one of these?
  • Do we still use it?
  • Would someone like it/use it more than we do?
  • Why am I holding onto this?

These questions truly helped as I wrestled with hanging onto the plastic toy garage my son received for his very first Christmas. (And guess what? He will start driving next month!) So, clearly I was holding onto it for my own selfish sentimental reasons. Yet my emotions were a bit easier to set aside when I thought about how this item could be put to good use at a local preschool, which is where I ultimately donated it.

2. Costumes your kids have outgrown

Another toughie to toss? My kids' matching chicken costumes for Halloween—just the feel of those soft white feathers brought me back to the days when I could dress them in cute matching costumes without a peep of a complaint from them, then we'd all go trick-or-treating as a family. After much wavering, I put them in my consignment shop pile so another brood of kid-chicks (or parents) might enjoy them.

3. Gifts

Next up: What to do with my youngest son's MC Hammer pants, never worn, bestowed on us by a well-meaning but wildly misguided aunt? Those pants weren't even in fashion when we received them. Still, the fact that they were a gift made them hard to abandon. I steeled myself by reasoning that donating these pants doesn't mean that I love the lady who gave them to us any less. And, honestly, would she even notice, or care? Doubtful on both counts. Out they go.

4. Old art supplies

Finally an easier one: Trashing many of the items in our art supply bucket were no-brainers. Broken crayons, empty rolls of tape, used-up markers, I'm looking at you!

5. Your kids' old artwork

The pictures my children made were a much tougher call. Fortunately, I found that I can curate my own online gallery thanks to apps that make it easy to store artwork. For example, Keepy enables you to snap pics of those masterpieces, then file them electronically so you can view them digitally (and print them out in poster size if you wish).

6. Books well below your kids' current reading level

I have to say, I was a bit embarrassed that I'd hung onto so many baby-level board books while my kids were now reading literature such as "The Crucible." What was I thinking?

I was thrilled to find that my local library was collecting books for an upcoming sale. I put together a huge box of everything from "Curious George" to Shakespeare and said, "fare thee well."

But even if you don't have a library that's accepting donations, you have other options. Books for Africa accepts literary donations of all genres, and ships them across the Atlantic to needy kids. Goodwill's resale stores are also happy to take books off your hands.

7. Old shoes

Footwear, too, seemed to be another area that was clogging up coveted real estate in one closet. Why was I holding onto sneakers that wouldn't fit a toddler when my "boys" were wearing a men's size 8?

I was thrilled to find Soles4Souls.org, which accepts donations throughout the U.S. so footwear can embark on a new journey.

8. Things you want to pass down to your grandkids

I have to admit, some toys were lingering with the hopes that I could one day pass them to my future grandkids. Yet, according to Novak, this never works out. "Parts are lost, they get musty, plastic gets brittle, and they can be a safety hazard," she says.

Another problem is people don't store potential heirlooms properly, making it a futile endeavor. So if you're dying to see your copy of "The Velveteen Rabbit" go to your grandchildren one day, be sure to keep it in a safe place (in an enclosed container where moisture can't creep in).

9. Old photos

Going through boxes of photos helped me find some fun ones I'd forgotten about. But it was far too easy to take a detour down memory lane—i.e., by taking photos of the photos and then posting them to Facebook. You can lose hours that way, trust me! The best tack? Pick a few photos, repurpose some frames, and then place the rest in a box. Deal with putting them in albums later, after you've tackled the bigger picture (in case you've forgotten, it's how to declutter your kids' stuff).

10. And everything else

There was more, of course, from Hot Wheels to cable-knit sweaters. So I scheduled a pick-up through DonationTown.org. With free pickup nationwide, this site accepts it all—clothing, furniture, toys, shoes, and general household items.

Best of all, making that pickup appointment (and knowing that someone would be coming to my home to collect my items at a set date and time) forced me to finish this job even when I wanted (desperately) to give up.

Contact Roseburg Properties Group for all your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

By and photo credit: Realtor.com, Liz Alterman 

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
649 NE Jackson Street, Roseburg, OR  97470

 

This home has been condemned. 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. Nice sized lot with alley access. Located in an area of improved homes with owner occupied homes and rentals. Convenient location to downtown.

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

U.S. Housing Inventory Crunch Continues… List Your House Today! | MyKCM

Every winter, families across the country decide if this will be the year that they sell their current houses and move into their dream homes.

Mortgage rates hovered around 4% for all of 2017 which forced many buyers off the fence and into the market, resulting in incredibly strong demand RIGHT NOW!

At the same time, however, inventory levels of homes for sale have dropped dramatically as compared to this time last year.

Trulia reported that “in Q4 2017, U.S. home inventory decreased by 10.5%. That is the biggest drop we’ve seen since Q2 2013.”

Here is a chart showing the decrease in inventory levels by category:

U.S. Housing Inventory Crunch Continues… List Your House Today! | MyKCM

The largest drop in inventory was in the starter home category which saw a 19% dip in listings.

Bottom Line

Demand for your home is very strong right now while your competition (other homes for sale) is at a historically low level. If you are thinking of selling in 2018, now may be the perfect time.

Let's get together to discuss your options! 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

By: KCM Crew

Exploring Roseburg Oregon: Winter Wine & Brew Fest

by Mary Gilbert

Saturday, January 27, 2018
5:00 PM to 10:30 PM

St. Joseph Educational Center
630 W Stanton St
Roseburg, OR 97471

The evening includes dinner, live / silent auctions and music.  Features a prime rib or chicken by Creative Catering; no host bar with Delfino and Freed Estate wineries and Backside Brewing Co.; and music is by Inoke.  

For more information contact:

Susan Acree
541-672-1028
[email protected]

Courtesy of Mary Gilbert, Roseburg Properties Group

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
104 River Club Drive, Roseburg, OR  97471

You will find every detail in perfect order in this beautiful 4 bedroom contemporary in desirable River Club Estates! The double door entry invites you in for an unforgettable home tour! The open concept floor plan that 104 River Club Drive offers is highlighted by high ceilings, durable tile flooring, plush carpeting, a gourmet kitchen, main floor master, central vac, modern fixtures and lighting, plus an attached 4 car garage! Slate tile surrounds the gas fireplace making a focal point in the relaxing living room. Stainless steel appliances including double ovens, glistening granite counters, soft close cabinets, a tile backsplash, built in wine rack, a pantry, and large breakfast bar all create a kitchen you are sure to want to spend time in! French doors in the dining area make indoor/outdoor entertaining a breeze. Work from home, build a library or simply relax in the first floor den/office. Get swept away in the soothing master suite featuring a walk in closet, jetted tub, double vanity and a travertine tiled walk in shower. Wrought iron spindles on the beautiful staircase lead you to the second level where you will find 3 generously sized bedrooms, a full bathroom, family room and theater room that is pre-wired! Stay organized in the spacious laundry room with sink. Savor the outdoors on the spacious concrete flagstone patios overlooking the manicured yard, plus there is irrigation from the river.  This house has been meticulously cared for and is just waiting for you to call it home!

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
1026 NE Lincoln Street, Roseburg, OR  97470

Opportunity is knocking at this single level duplex on Lincoln Street! 2 bedroom, 1 bath units with off street parking with carports and street parking! Enjoy grilling and chilling on the rear patios and yard. Convenient location to city services. One unit is currently rented at $550 per month. Live in one unit and rent the other or rent both units – endless possibilities await! Make your appointment today!

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Gap Between Homeowners & Appraisers Narrows to Lowest Mark in 2 Years

by Mary Gilbert
Gap Between Homeowners & Appraisers Narrows to Lowest Mark in 2 Years | MyKCM

In today’s housing market, where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values are increasing rapidly. Many experts are projecting that home values could appreciate by another 4% or more over the next twelve months. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal.

When prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that recently closed) to defend the selling price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

Every month in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner who is seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth and what an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home is.

In the latest release, the disparity was the narrowest it has been in over two years, as the gap between appraisers and homeowners was only -0.5%. This is important for homeowners to note as even a .5% difference in appraisal can mean thousands of dollars that a buyer or seller would have to come up with at closing (depending on the price of the home)

The chart below illustrates the changes in home price estimates over the last two years.

Gap Between Homeowners & Appraisers Narrows to Lowest Mark in 2 Years | MyKCM

Bill Banfield, Executive VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans urges homeowners to find out how their local markets have been impacted by supply and demand:

“Appraisers and real estate professionals evaluate their local housing markets daily. Homeowners, on the other hand, may only think about their housing market when they see ‘for sale’ signs hit front yards in the spring or when they think about accessing their equity.”

“With several years of growth, owners may have more equity than they realize. Many consumers use the tax season at the beginning of the year to reevaluate their entire financial life. It also provides a good opportunity for them to consider how best to take advantage of their equity while mortgage interest rates and borrowing costs are still near record lows.”

Bottom Line 

Every house on the market must be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first.

If you are planning on entering the housing market this year, let’s get together to discuss this and any other obstacles that may arise. 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

By: KCM Crew

Buying A Home Is More Affordable Than Renting In 54% Of US Counties | MyKCM

According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ 2018 Rental Affordability Report, “buying a median-priced home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 240 of 447 [or 54% of] U.S. counties analyzed for the report.”

For the report, ATTOM Data Solutions compared recently released fair market rent data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development with reported income amounts from the Department of Labor and Statistics to determine the percentage of income that a family would have to spend on their monthly housing cost (rent or mortgage payments).

Daren Blomquist, Senior Vice President of ATTOM Data Solutions had this to say:

“Although buying is still more affordable than renting in the majority of U.S. housing markets, the majority is shrinking as home price appreciation continues to outpace rental growth in most areas.”

However, the report also shows that the average fair market rent rose faster than average weekly wages in 60% of the counties analyzed in the report (266 of 447 counties). With rents rising, many renters should consider buying a home soon.

Bottom Line

Rents will continue to rise, and mortgage interest rates are still at historic lows. Before you sign or renew your next lease, let’s get together to help you determine if you are able to buy a home of your own and lock in your monthly housing expense. 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

By: KCM Crew

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
2149 NE Malheur Avenue, R
oseburg, OR  97470

Welcome home to 2149 NE Malheur Avenue, a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom fixer upper bungalow home in NE Roseburg. Enjoy the large yard with seasonal creek. Long term renter. Make your appointment today!

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Exploring Roseburg Oregon: Challenge of Champions Bull Riding

by Mary Gilbert

Saturday, January 20, 2018
7:30 PM to 11:00 PM

Watch fearless bull riders try to stay on the best bucking bulls for eight seconds. Plus, enjoy rodeo clowns while they avoid the bulls for seventy seconds!

Check it out at the Douglas County Fairgrounds!

For more information call - 360-967-2337

Doors open at 6:30 PM

Admission: $14 advance/$17 at the door, Kids 5 and under are FREE!

Event Website

Courtesy of Mary Gilbert, Roseburg Properties Group

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 21

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Contact Information

Photo of Mary Gilbert Real Estate
Mary Gilbert
Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley
2365 NW Kline Street, Suite 201
Roseburg OR 97471
541-371-5500
Fax: 541-371-5501

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